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E.The Future of Extended Wear Hearing Aids

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers are currently testing out a hearing aid that could be worn for three to six months without ever being taken out. Robert Sweetow, Director of Audiology at the University of California, San Francisco, has been testing out these extended wear hearing aids and says the patient will be able to sleep, shower - even swim with it.

Sweetow:You won't take it out at all. You'll wonder how can that be? What's going to happen with the hearing aid? Well, what happens with this hearing aid is it goes in, it has to be inserted by a physician because it's goes in your ear - it's extremely small. It goes in the ear very, very deeply beyond where earwax is produced. It is the most comfortable thing you can imagine.

Narrator: But Sweetow says it will be a number of years before this extended wear hearing aid is available.

Sweetow: But I'll tell you right now - this is where it's going. This is where the field's going to go. You're going to go in, you're going to get a fitting in less than an hour, you're going to walk out - you can not see it and you do not feel it all that much.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.